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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“Say it, don’t ‘gay’ it”

Jennifer Hoefle, the program director for LGBTQ affairs, has been educating students in various classes about terminology that is considered offensive, including the phrase “”that’s so gay.””

Informing students of offensive terminology is a continual effort that launched during the “”That’s So Gay”” campaign last year, which explained how the phrase, and others such as “”queer,”” are misused and offend those who identified as gay, according to Jai Smith, a co-director of Pride Alliance and sociology senior.

Smith said that terms like “”gay”” are often used in a derogatory manner, and that the context of the word “”cuts away”” at individual identities.

“”Hearing negative remarks about something that people see as a part of their core being,”” Smith said, “”is something that can be devastating to a person’s psyche and self-interpretation.””

Kira Johnson, a co-director of Pride Alliance and junior majoring in English, explained how the phrase “”that’s so gay”” is constantly misused.

“”If someone says ‘Oh my gosh, her skirt is gay,’ it’s not gay. It’s just a really bad skirt,”” Johnson said. “”Does it like other skirts of the same sex?””

She added that people need to choose their words carefully, and many other words could be used instead that do not identify a certain group of people in a negative way.

Smith and Johnson both said they usually speak up when they hear others use the phrase by explaining to people that it can be considered offensive.

Rob Wolfset, a creative writing junior, said his best friend, who is gay, does not get offended by the phrase “”that’s so gay,”” but does take offense to the word “”faggot.”” The phrase, however, is still unnecessary and a different expression should be used instead, Wolfset said.

Justin Rosenbaum, a criminal justice sophomore, also said he did not find the phrase offensive.

“”It’s hard to say (that you take offense to the phrase) unless you are gay,”” Rosenbaum said.

He admitted that he says “”that’s so gay”” more than he should, but he never means any offense by it.

Other students such as Mary Allt, a pre-physiology freshman, said that she does not use the expression often because she knows that it could offend people.

“”People need to be careful in how they use it (the phrase “”that’s so gay””), because some people say it’s alright and some people take offense to it,”” she explained.

The biggest problem behind the phrase, Smith said, is that people trivialize it because of the “”new era”” that we live in.

“”Students are still being slandered and verbally harassed,”” Smith said, giving examples like the preachers on the UA Mall who he said spew hate speech towards the LGBTQ community. “”As much as people don’t think that it (the phrase “”that’s so gay””) adds to the pool of hate, every drop counts.””

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